This section is from the book "Arts & Crafts Magazine Vol1-2", by Hutchinson & Company.
Like all flowers made up of masses of little single blossoms, it is a difficult thing for the student to render satisfactory, not so much on account of the colour as of the drawing and proper distribution of the masses of light and shade that always constitutes a very important feature of such a study. Nothing is more trying to the cultivated eye of an artist than to see a mass of small flowers, like, for instance, a bunch of violets, hydrangeas, or lilac, treated so that one may make out every single Hower separately all over the bunch or cluster, when in nature one can only really see distinctly and separately a very few of them fully made out, and then only those directly in front of the eye, while all those turning away from the spectator appear a blurred mass, with perhaps the light striking the edges of some single blossoms. Therefore, if you want to paint lilac or any flower of similar character, be true to nature and make out fully only the Bowers that you see distinctly, and if the rest of your bouquet shows on the shadow side as a blurred mass, scrupulously treat it in that way.
A Study of Colour Values and Textures in Pen Drawing. By E. M. Hallowell.
Forget all about each flower as a separate thing, really looking the same and having the same shape as the other would if you were to pull it to pieces. You are not supposed to illustrate a scientific work on botany, but to render in a truthful way what you see in nature from the artist's standpoint.
Sketch in the lilacs first very lightly with a hard lead-pencil - at least those that you see plainly - and suggest slightly the outline of the whole bunch. Then mix, for the lightest shade of purple, rose madder and cobalt blue, more or less of the one or the other, according to the hue of the flowers; for the half open one and the buds you may sometimes have to use almost pure rose madder. For the shadows, go over them with the same tint, only a trifle deeper. For the little dark spots in the centre, put in a touch of pure olive green and sometimes a trifle of gamboge. To fill in the spaces between the single flowers, which are more or less open according to the fulness of the kind of lilac, use some warm tint of rose madder, raw sienna, and cobalt blue, sometimes with olive .green or grey added, or anything that seems to you to come nearest to what you see in nature. As already intimated, the parts in shadow must be-treated in mass, only single petals or flowers being left light. The leaves are of a very tender light young green, and are done with gamboge and •cobalt blue, and some yellow ochre added if otherwise too crude. This for the light, which, however, maybe bluish in parts; then use more cobalt. For transparent greens in the shadows use Indian yellow and cobalt, for even the shadows must suggest a light tone of green.
For Oil Colours, almost the same palette may be employed as in water colours, but the colours must be mixed with more or less white everywhere. Substitute one of the Naples yellows for gamboge. A suitable and very harmonious background for lilacs is any tone of grey shaded into green; or there may be a light green background; or, if preferred, one of a brownish, greyish tone made of vandyke brown and neutral tint. Very suitable, too, would be a background of pale yellow, made of a thin tone of yellow ochre shaded into raw sienna.
Suggestions for painting Hydrangeas, based on the treatment of the large study which forms one of our supplementary sheets, must be reserved for our next issue, when we shall be able to treat the whole class of clustered small flowers more adequately than is possible with the pressure on our space this month.